As is often the case these days, it's much easier to drop a blog post than it is to make a simple comment in an "old media" style data space :-(

My use of "old media" implies: a place that still seeks subscriber data (no OpenID etc..), for the umpteenth time, as the toll fee for discourse development and participation on the Web.

Anyway, here is what I attempted to post as a comment to Dan Grigorovici's post titled: Where is the Semantic Web Killer App?


An intriguing post to say the least :-)

"Linked Data" and "Semantic Web" aren't synonymous, they are simply connected, infrastructure DNA-wise. You can have "Semantic Web" style graphs (i.e RDF Data) and not have "Linked Data" as per Linked Data deployment tenets and best practices, a very important point.

I've stated repeatedly, the "Linked Data" emphasis has more to do with focusing on a point of crystallization within the larger "Semantic Web" vision, so here is a quick recap:

What is Linked Data?

A term coined by TimBL that describes an application of HTTP to the time-tested process of "Data Access by Reference". "Linked Data" adds vital items to the "Data Access by Reference" pattern that have been erstwhile unattainable:

  • The use of a Data Source Naming scoped to Database / Data Container Records as opposed to Tables, Views, Stored Procedures, Databases, and other Record Container tuple collections. Example: in ODBC / JDBC, a Data Source Name's scope stops at the Table / View level. In the Linked Data realm you get an added layer of granularity due to record level name scope
  • Incorporation of HTTP into the Data Source Naming scheme, which injects the expanse of the Web into the Data Access Range of the Data Source Name (i.e. a Named Record); so you can reference a record's description directly via HTTP which is simply a major deal (to put things mildly).

So we have HTTP based URIs as the Data Sources Names for a "Linked Data Web" i.e a Web of inter-connected Data Source Names that de-emphasize the importance of their host containers (Compound Documents / Information Resources).

The business case or value proposition of "Linked Data" is synonymous with the value proposition of data access technologies such as ODBC, JDBC. ADO.NET, OLE-DB, XMLA, and others (enterprise or consumer) in relation to the Individual and Enterprise pursuit of agility; in a realm where data is growing exponentially, and the maximum processing time in a single day remains 24 hrs. Data Access & Data Integration are timeless challenges due to the following constants:

  • Structured Data Schema Heterogeneity - we will always model the same things differently
  • Dirtiness of Data within Structured Data Containers - we are error prone due to laziness / sloppiness, time constraints, and the inherent limitation of our DNA based CPUs when dealing with large volumes of data.

Note: The line between the Enterprise & Individuals continue to blur by the second, this is something I covered during my Linked Data Planet keynote, which is like most things I put on the Web (via this blog data space), is a live and practical demonstration of the virtues of Linked Data courtesy of RDFa, the Bibliographic Ontology, and dereferencable URIs (i.e. HTTP based Data Source Names for Documents and the Entities they host).